I have some relatives that just returned from Seattle and they showed us a new way to make a “toast” or greeting with someone. It’s based on it seems a Swedish tradition called Skol.
Here is how it goes. When you give a typical “toast” you say something like “here is to Jims retirement” and everyone touches glasses then drinks. Now with Skol its similar but what you do is make eye contact with just one person, raise your glass to them and say “Skol”. Trick is you say it in a kind of question because they can choose to not respond (yeah gets tricky).
If they do they also reply “skol” and raise their glass to you. No, you dont touch glasses like in a traditional toast.
Now THIS part gets really tricky and is where the honor and tradition comes in.
You then drink your separate glasses but its considered the highest honor and part of decorum if you NEVER break eye contact. You take your sip, then you raise your glass again to the person and you both say “Skol”. (Yeah that means you might miss your mouth or dribble but thats ok.)
And thats it. All you did was make eye contact, said “skol”, drank, and said “skol” again. Its quick, over in a few seconds, and then you go back to whatever you were doing. The important thing is sharing a personal moment. The eye contact is the big thing. Remember the saying “the eyes are the mirror of the soul”.
The advantage or reasons for the skol greeting are:
- One need not be able to be close by so you can be across a large table, be sitting down, or across a room.
- It tends to be one-on-one rather than a large group thing although you can make it that way, it just takes a bit longer.
- It give a deep personal experience between the 2 people not soon forgotten even if the moment is brief.
- You can do this at any time like lunch or on a break or something.
- You typically have to know the person first before they will reply. I guess its considered quite an honor.
I guess Skol means “Health”.
One can choose to put some of your unique personality into it, make the moment last longer, or add some personal flair.
To me it’s kind of like a handshake. Think about how people practice giving the perfect handshake and greeting and a handshake can say a LOT about a person. Its the same with skol.
Try it and see how it feels.
Have any of you ever heard of this?
Could it catch on?